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First Mining defines new zone with 6.52g/t over 4.6M in initial drilling at Duparquet Gold Project

Sep 6, 2023

First Mining Gold Corp. announces the confirmation of a new gold zone based on initial results from its Phase I exploration drilling program at the Duparquet Gold Project in Quebec. Recent drilling at the Project occurred at the newly modeled “Buzz Zone” which intersected 6.52 g/t Au over 4.6 m and 1.19 g/t Au over 10.4 m in drill hole DUP23-002, and 4.94 g/t Au over 1.00 m as well as 2.16 g/t Au over 1.50 m in drill hole DUP23-003, confirming a newly modeled gold zone targeted proximal to the South Beattie Syenite contact.  In addition, results from drill hole DUP23-001 returned 2.28 g/t Au over 5.05 m, and drill hole DUP23-002 returned 8.70 g/t Au over 3.3 m, validating wireframes for the existing resource.

“These first drill holes have now confirmed a new modeled gold zone at the Duparquet Gold Project,” stated Dan Wilton, CEO of First Mining. “With further drilling to continue, First Mining is well positioned to continue advancing this strategically important project located in the prolific Abitibi Greenstone Belt.  The ongoing drilling success at Duparquet will provide upside potential to the Duparquet Gold Project where First Mining is currently advancing on a PEA and expect to have that completed in Q3 2023.”

Drilling Highlights:

  • Initial drilling campaign at the Duparquet Project since acquisition confirms new gold zone
  • “Buzz Zone” intercepts of 6.52 g/t Au over 4.6 m, 1.19 g/t Au over 10.4 m, 4.94 g/t Au over 1.0 m and 2.16 g/t Au over 1.5 m
  • Additional intercepts in areas of geologic and wireframe validation which include 8.70 g/t Au over 3.3 m and 3.47 g/t Au over 7.75 m
  • Continued demonstration of a sizeable and growth-enabled gold system in one of Canada’s largest undeveloped gold projects

Table 1:  Selected Significant Drill Intercept Results at Buzz Zone

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*Reported intervals are drilled core lengths (true widths are estimated at 75-85% of the core length interval); assay values are uncut

The Phase I drilling program commenced in May 2023 and is focused on validating, de-risking and unlocking exploration opportunities at the Duparquet Project, which has seen limited exploration since 2013.  First Mining’s initial campaign is the first to be conducted within its newly consolidated and wholly owned mineral tenure at Duparquet, which now spans 19 km of strike length of the prolific Destor-Porcupine Fault Zone in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt.  

The newly modeled “Buzz Zone” occurs immediately south of the existing Duparquet mineral resource, which includes a combined pit and selective underground mining scenario with additional tailings resource, and which is currently estimated at 3.4 million ounces of gold in the Measured & Indicated category, grading 1.55 g/t Au, and an additional 1.6 million ounces of gold in the Inferred category, grading 1.36 g/t Au*. Recent drilling by First Mining targeted a new potential zone surrounding a historical drill intercept (1.77 g/t Au over 30 m in drill hole B09-40, including 2.38 g/t Au over 4 m, 7.44 g/t Au over 3 m and 5.72 g/t Au over 2 m), with a recognized potential for significant expansion with confirmation of continuity.  First drilling by the Company at the Buzz Zone included two drill holes totalling 1,395 meters which demonstrate new mineralization over a strike length of 240 m which remains open in all directions.

* Details of the Duparquet Gold Project mineral resource can be found in the technical report entitled “NI 43-101 Technical Report and Mineral Resource Estimate Update for the Duparquet Project, Quebec, Canada” which was prepared by InnovExplo Inc. of Val d’Or, Quebec in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) and has an effective date of September 12, 2022.

Buzz Target

The Buzz target is located immediately south of the current resource wireframes at First Mining Gold’s Duparquet Deposit (see Figure 1, Figure 2).  The Buzz Zone is a resource expansion target which is hosted within interpreted splay(s) off the prolific Destor Porcupine Fault Zone located in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt. 

The mineralization at Duparquet is known to occur along high strain corridors within sheared and brecciated zones that straddle or cut though the margins of the Beattie syenite. The gold mineralization is associated with fine- to very fine-grained, disseminated pyrite and lesser arsenopyrite, and is associated with silicification, sericitization and ankeritization.

The second hole of the Phase I drill program, DUP23-002, was aimed at validating current mineralized resource wireframes and geological models while testing the Buzz Zone, a target previously underexplored due to the proximity of the historical boundary between the Duparquet property and the Porcupine East property, which was acquired by First Mining earlier this year. The Buzz Zone was intersected at a vertical depth of 355 metres and includes intervals of 6.52 g/t Au over 4.6 m, including 12.82 g/t Au over 1.8 m, and 1.19 g/t Au over 10.4 m, including 3.97 g/t Au over 0.7 m (Table 1). This drill hole also validated several of the modelled resource wireframes while confirming continuity at depth which included intervals of 8.70 g/t Au over 3.3 m and 0.94 g/t Au over 12.0 m. The drill hole also intersected additional mineralized zones near surface that had not been identified and included in the wireframes used in the current mineral resource estimate which included assay intervals of 2.72 g/t Au over 6.3 m from 106.0 m to 112.3 m, and 0.74 g/t Au over 20.25 m from 125.8 m to 146.0 m.

The third hole of the program, DUP23-003, located 230 m to the east of DUP23-002, intersected mineralization below the current resource with a potential for wireframe extension of up to 75 m, including a significant intercept of 3.47 g/t Au over 7.75 m from 378.85 m to 386.60 m. DUP23-003 also drill tested the Buzz Zone and returned 4.94 g/t Au over 1.0 m from 659.0 m to 660.0 m, and 2.16 g/t Au over 1.50 m from 715.5 m to 717.0 m, hosted within brecciated lithologies. Initial interpretation of the target intercept provides a positive vector at depth for a favourable host setting within the conventionally targeted syenite, approximately 100 m vertically deeper.

Figure 1:  Drill Hole Locations - plan view map, highlighting the first three holes in the Phase I: 5000 m drill program (with red zones representing the modelled mineralization, and blue zones representing newly identified target areas)

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Figure 2: Oblique section of the first three holes drilled by First Mining Gold at the Duparquet Project, with red zones representing the modelled mineralization, and blue zones representing newly identified target areas

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2023 Duparquet Drilling Program

First Mining commenced a foundational drilling program in May 2023 with an initial 5,000 m drilling campaign that is focusing on the advancement of newly defined targets, as well as validating and expanding on resource growth and optimization opportunities.

The first three holes in the Phase I 5,000 m drilling program were aimed at validating the historical modelled mineralization and testing opportunities to extend the mineralization at depth and along strike. The Phase I program is also aiming to unlock exploration opportunities immediately surrounding the mineral resource, as well as at targeted areas that were identified from integrating datasets from the recently consolidated land tenure, which was historically underexplored and demonstrates potential to add additional mineral resources around the project (Figure 3).

Figure 3: First Mining’s Consolidated Land Tenure in Abitibi

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Other drill targets tested by First Mining include drilling around the historical Beattie mine, where there is still significant opportunity for validation and extension at depth.

Drill hole DUP23-001 targeted the depth extension of the mineralization at the contact of the Beattie syenite and mafic volcanics.  Two of the interpreted wireframes were intersected along the southern half of the Beattie Syenite. The hole intersected silicified, fine-grained syenite containing 0.5-1% pyrite and arsenopyrite and returned 2.28 g/t Au over 5.05 m, followed by a second zone approximately 105 m down the hole at the southern contact of the syenite with the volcanics, which returned 0.96 g/t Au over 9.8 m (Figure 4).

Figure 4: DUP23-001 Demonstrating potential below current open pit design (pit intersection shown in grey)

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Significant assay results from the Duparquet Gold Project drilling program are reported below in Table 2, and drill locations are provided in Table 3.

Results from the current drilling validate the existing resource model, having intersected gold mineralization within the pit shell and interpreted wireframes. The drilling results also confirm that the interpreted wireframes have continuity at depth and that significant new gold mineralization exists to the south, beyond the limits of the current mineral resource estimate.

The Company's exploration strategy at Duparquet is focused on advancing on multiple targets during this Phase I program, while continuing to integrate and modernize historical datasets to support drill targeting.

“We are looking forward to completing our Phase I drilling campaign and launching into the next round of drilling in the fall of 2023, with an improved understanding of the resource and the brownfields opportunities at Duparquet while unlocking further exploration potential at the drill bit and with regional greenfields campaigns,” stated James Maxwell, First Mining’s Vice President of Exploration.

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